The UK economy continues to grow, new figures have shown, with a record number of people working and the amount being paid in salary also on the rise. However, the outlook is not all rosy, there was a rise in the number of people claiming job seeker’s allowance, although the overall number of those out of work fell.
There are now 31.12 million people in work in the UK, 22.77 million being on a full time basis. The proportion of people in work aged 16-64 was 73.6 percent in June to August, the highest number since records began. Average earnings are also growing by 3% a year in real terms, but there is still no sign of the skills shortages that would push wages up across the board if they occurred. Yet, as inflation rises, most people are expected to see a rise in living standards.
However, given that the government is aiming to significantly reduce the welfare bill, the rising number of those seeking job seeker benefits will come as an unwelcome figure. Youth unemployment numbers also remain stickily implacable.
“As the government puts its finishing touches to the Spending Review, it needs to avoid assuming this is a case of ‘job done’, Mark Beatson, chief economist at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) said of the figures.
“A growing labour market is a great help in tackling unemployment, but some jobseekers need dedicated support and encouragement if they are to be in a position to compete for the opportunities available.”